What Are the Symptoms and Treatment Options for the Flu?

Symptoms of flu include fever, runny or stuffy nose, congestion in the sinus, body aches, a sore throat with cough, and tiredness, reports Drugs.com. Treatment options depend on the symptoms experienced and include use of decongestants, pain-relieving medicines, antiviral medications and gargling, states WebMD.

The symptoms of flu range from being mild to severe, depending on the patient's health status, age and the virus type. Normally, fever of temperatures around 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit is accompanied by muscle aches and headaches, chills and giddiness, explains Drugs.com. Fever and aches in the body are treated using over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen, says WebMD.

If the sinus and nose are congested, oral decongestants or nasal saline sprays are used to decrease swelling in the passageways of the nose. Runny nose, accompanied by watering and itchy eyes and sneezing, is treated using antihistamines, reports WebMD.

Expectorants, decongestants and suppressants are used to treat cough. For sore throat, gargling with warm salt water and lozenges are recommended, states WebMD. Doctors also advise adequate rest and consumption of lots of fluids to ease flu symptoms, says Drugs.com.

Antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir are best consumed within 48 hours of the beginning of the symptoms, states Drugs.com. These medications reduce symptom duration and disease severity. If a secondary infection caused by bacteria is present, antibiotics are prescribed, explains WebMD.